A0035 – Gillian Wimbourne Davis Collection

A0035 – Gillian Wimbourne Davis Collection


Date span: 1956-1997
 Physical description: 19 boxes
 Creator: Gillian Frances Wimbourne Davis
 Language note: English



Restriction on access: The collection is available for supervised use by appointment during normal Boynton Beach City Library hours. Users are required to comply with the library’s regulations governing use.

Terms governing use and reproduction: Materials in the collections are to be used for private study, scholarship, or research in accord with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). The Boynton Beach City Library adheres to all conditions specified in the law when providing reproductions of copyrighted material. Any use of a reproduction in excess of “fair use," may result in the user’s liability for copyright infringement.

Acquisition information: Donated to the Boynton Beach Historical Society, then transferred to the Local History Archives. 2016.022 and 2021.009

Preferred citation: Boynton Beach City Library Local History Archives, Miss Gillian School of Dancing Collection.



Historical note: Gillian Frances Wimbourne (b. 1936 England) moved to Boynton Beach in 1956 to establish a dance school after being encouraged by local residents. She taught dance classes at her studio in Boynton Beach as well as in locations from Palm Beach to Delray Beach. She was also involved with WHRS/WXEL radio and TV in Boynton. In 1983 she married the British musicologist Richard Beattie Davis. In 1986 she sold her studio and moved back to the UK. Her husband (d. 2008) collected and wrote about rare first and early editions of music scores, including Mozart and Beethoven, but his lasting legacy is his book on the Russian publications by Belaieff, with which she was involved. His collection was housed at FAU Wimberley Library in Boca Raton for many years, but is now at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. As of 2021, Miss Gillian still resides at least part of the year at her home in Boynton Beach.

Scope and content note: Chiefly material documenting the Miss Gillian School of Dance, including photographs of children’s dance groups chiefly on stage in costume (1956-1983), dance recital programs, and video and audiotapes of performances. The two scrapbooks are chiefly clippings, and all the programs of performances. Also included are records of classical music. Other personal papers include a small amount of material on Ms Gillian’s later efforts of assisting her husband with his collection of Russian publications by Belaieff; writings, including a play, Jezebel and a tape and transcript of “Kathy’s Anthem for the Disabled” or “Kathy’s Anthem for the Handicapped”; newsletters from Gulf Stream School mentioning Ms Gillian’s work there (1991-1996); and some publications from WXEL (1985-1997).

Miss Gillian School of Dancing (Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Dance schools
Child dancers

Other forms of material available: Many of the photographs have been digitized and are available online.

Arrangement note: Five series: Series 1: Papers; Series 2: Performances, audio and videotapes; Series 3: Music, including 78s and 45s; Series 4: Costumes; Series 5: Photographs.

Access note: At this time, there is no way to view the videotape or listen to the audiotapes in this collection.

Processing information: Collection processed in 2016 / sms & 2021 / gc
Date of finding aid: May 2019, July 2021 / gc


Box 1: Papers

  • Folder 1: Inventory
  • Folders 2 & 3: Plaques recording team winners, 1958-1966
  • Folder 4: Team certificate, 1981
  • Folder 5: Scrapbook. Clippings about ballet, yoga, style, posture, c. 1960s
  • Folder 6: Publications:
    • Article: “Toe Shoes When?”
    •  Dancing in action : a book on ballet, by Sonia Stiller, 1954
    •  Children’s examinations : ballet in education syllabus, by the Royal Academy of Dancing, 1954
    •  Dance excerpts
    •  PBC cultural directory 1982
  • Folder 7: Issues of The Dancer’s Notebook (incomplete), 1957-
  • Folder 8: Clippings
  • Folder 9-11: Dance recital programs (incomplete), 1960-1983
  • Folder 12: Handwritten notebook: Primary ballet syllabus 1955
  • Folder 13: Clippings, reviews for the Beauty of Belaieff, list of negatives deposited at FAU
  • Folder 14: Newsletters from Gulfstream School, mentioning Miss Gillian, 1991-1996

Box 1.5:

  • Folder 1: Jezebel. Words by Clarissa Burden, music by Gillian Davis. Program (1996) and script.
  • Folder 2: tape and transcript of “Kathy’s Anthem for the Disabled” or “Kathy’s Anthem for the Handicapped”, 1982
  • Folder 3: WXEL monthly membership publication, Prelude. Feb 1984, Jan 1985, Oct 1985, Apr 1993
  • Folder 4: WXEL papers. Includes press releases, correspondence, and reports concerning the 1992 employee uprising, appreciation of Miss Gillian,
  • Folder 5: Newsclippings on WXEL

Box 2-9: Audio tapes of performances (various formats)
Box 10 & 11: Videotapes of performances (various formats). Some available online.
Box 12-14: Music, LP records.
Unboxed: 3 books of LP records
Box 15-17: Music, 45 RPM records
Box 18: Costume
Box 19 & 20: Photographs
Box 21: Scrapbooks

  •  Scrapbook 1: (Green) Clippings, programs, photographs 1957-1979
  •  Scrapbook 2: (Blue) Clippings, programs 1980-1988